The Mayor of Cozumel is reaching out to European Cruise companies to bring their ships to the Mexican Island.
While the United States cruise industry sits at a standstill, Cozumel is looking to establish itself as a home port for European cruise lines to help fill the void. Mexico is no stranger to tourism during the pandemic and continues to be one of the most popular destinations during Covid-19. Cozumel Mayor, Pedro Joaquín Delbouis says they can no longer sit idle waiting for cruise ships to return from the U.S.
The Mayor is looking first to the one large cruise line already successfully sailing in the Mediterranean. MSC Cruises has been the pioneer of sailing in a Covid-19 world. The company was the first major cruise line in the world to resume sailing back on August 16th. With the exception of a few weeks of downtime due to closed borders, MSC is once again back sailing in the Med.
Cozumel is offering to be a home port for any European cruise line that is interested.
“There is constant communication with the United States authorities and the Caribbean Cruise Association and there is nothing scheduled for this first quarter, explained the mayor reported the Riviera Maya News. That is why the island of Cozumel is reaching out to European cruise line MSC that is based out of Italy.
The mayor has been in talks with MSC and has many ideas on how the cruise line could reactive sailings in the Caribbean.
While no sailings are scheduled until at least May from the United States, the Cozumel mayor stated that cruise ships can navigate without ever having to enter U.S. waters.
“If they can’t leave from the United States, let ships make a route through the Caribbean sailing from Cozumel explained Delbouis. “We know that supply logistics won’t be easy from an island, but it can be done. There is still no answer with the U.S. cruise lines, but we are in talks with the MSC, which managed an itinerary through the Caribbean without ever touching North American soil.”
Mayor Joaquín Delbouis is looking at multiple sailing options including cruises from Havana and launching a route to and from Progresso, Yucatan.
With the success of MSC’s health protocols and ability to continue sailing during the pandemic, the Mayor stated that the same health protocols could lead a successful launch of cruising based out of Mexico.
Cozumel hopes to be a home port that will host one or two weekly sailings departing from the island.
U.S. Sailings Continue To Be Delayed
Just when cruisers thought there was a light at the end of the tunnel after the CDC lifted its no sail order, it’s been month after month of disappointment as cruise lines continue to push back their dates to resume operations in the U.S.
The earliest sailings scheduled to depart from the U.S begin in May. Most cruisers aren’t holding their breath as cruises have been scheduled to resume for months but not one major cruise line has yet to sail from the United States.
Strict Regulations When Cruising Resumes
When cruising does eventually resume out of the United States, passengers are going to see some of the strictest health protocols in the world. These prevention methods will include multiple tests, reduced capacity, no personal shore excursions and could even come down to mandatory proof of vaccination.
Two U.S. cruise lines have announced all passengers and crew must get the Covid-19 vaccine in order to sail.
Both the American Steamboat Company and Victory Cruise Lines will require all passengers to be vaccinated beginning July 1, 2021.
Passengers will have had to have both shots from Moderna and Pfizer while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would only require one dose.
Carnival and Royal Caribbean have not confirmed if they will require proof of vaccination for their cruises.
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